IndyCar: Takuma Sato tops fourth preseason test at Phoenix

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Takuma Sato topped the fourth and final IndyCar preseason test at ISM Raceway in Avondale, Arizona.

Takuma Sato, the driver the #30 Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, topped the speed chart in the fourth and final IndyCar test session of the weekend at ISM Raceway in Avondale, Arizona.

Sato has returned to the team for the first time since the 2012 season after spending four seasons driving for A.J. Foyt Enterprises from 2013 to 2016 and one season driving for Andretti Autosport last year.

This test marked the fourth time during which the IndyCars with the new universal aero kit drove in the same session. The other three tests of this type so far also took place this weekend, with two taking place yesterday and one taking place earlier today. This evening’s test was the final test of the weekend.

Sato, 41, topped the speed chart with a fastest lap time around the 1.022-mile tri-oval of 19.3790 seconds (189.855 miles per hour). He also topped the speed chart in the first session yesterday and the first session today.

Graham Rahal, Sato’s teammate who topped the speed chart in the second session yesterday, finished in 10th place in this session. The speed chart of second session yesterday that was topped by Rahal was the only speech chart of a session this weekend that was not topped by Sato.

Will Power, who drives the #12 Chevrolet for Team Penske, was the fastest driver of a Chevrolet-powered car in 2nd place. Chevrolet drivers took every spot in the top four on the speed chart except for 1st place.

The session’s top rookie was Dale Coyne Racing’s Pietro Fittipaldi, who is set to drive the team’s #19 Honda on a part-time basis this season. He finished in 10th place in the session. For the first time this weekend, Matheus Leist was not the top rookie in the session in his #4 A.J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet.

As referenced above, Chevrolet drivers took three of the top four spots in the session, and they also took five of the top nine. Honda drivers took four of the top seven and six of the top 11 spots. However, they also took the bottom four spots in a session that was pretty evenly split among the two engine manufacturers.

The fact that this session was so evenly split was nothing new this weekend, and this is largely due to the fact the new universal aero kits have been used for the first time.

Here are the full results of the fourth and final test session of this weekend.

RankDriverCar, Team, Engine
1Takuma Sato#30, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Honda
2Will Power#12, Team Penske, Chevrolet
3Tony Kanaan#14, A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Chevrolet
4Josef Newgarden#1, Team Penske, Chevrolet
5Marco Andretti#98, Andretti Herta Autosport, Honda
6Alexander Rossi#27, Andretti Autosport, Honda
7Scott Dixon#9, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda
8Simon Pagenaud#22, Team Penske, Chevrolet
9Spencer Pigot#21, Ed Carpenter Racing, Chevrolet
10Pietro Fittipaldi#19, Dale Coyne Racing, Honda
11Graham Rahal#15, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Honda
12Matheus Leist#4, A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Chevrolet
13Zach Veach#26, Andretti Autosport, Honda
14Charlie Kimball#23, Carlin Motorsport, Chevrolet
15Ed Jones#10, Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda
16Max Chilton#59, Carlin Motorsport, Chevrolet
17Gabby Chaves#88, Harding Racing, Chevrolet
18Ed Carpenter#20, Ed Carpenter Racing, Chevrolet
19Ryan Hunter-Reay#28, Andretti Autosport, Honda
20Sebastien Bourdais#18, Dale Coyne Racing, Honda
21James Hinchcliffe#5, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Honda
22Robert Wickens#6, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Honda



The 2018 IndyCar season is set to get underway with the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, March 11th. The race at ISM Raceway, the Phoenix Grand Prix, is scheduled for Saturday, April 7th as the second race of the season.